Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Question of Attitude

The past few days some interesting things crossed paths with my reading:

Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” clocked its 50 years.  Its widely regarded as a landmark moment in sparking off what’s become the environmental movement.  She’s spent years tracking the stuff prior to actually writing the book influencing the likes of President Kennedy along the way. Interestingly, Ms Carson didn’t advocate banning pesticides and chemicals, but recognizing that they can be inimical to life and thus seeking moderation.  That isn’t the way its playing out. In the right hand corner wearing Black bottom line shorts are the rampaging corporates screaming murder at any environmental laws and in the left corner wearing  Green shorts are  the gurus of “preserve life” who’ve found environmental objections to demarcation of bike lanes in San Francisco (no kidding, this happened within the last year).

Today also happens to the anniversary (40th) of the Munich Olympics killings of Israeli athletes by terrorists,  a Palestinian group called Black September.  The knee jerk reaction of the then US administration was to brand Palestinians terrorists and the deep end of the war that still is on between Israel and Palestine continues.  This is exactly what the terrorist faction wanted, a point of no-return that justifies the violence.  The ability to sit down at the table to seek resolution has taken decades to happen.

A separate article in The Wall Street Journal cited the problems between a couple, married several years, who were Democrat and Republican in political allegiance. The husband, heading on tour, handed over his ballot to his wife to mail in for the Presidential election.  She knew his political leanings and threw the mail away rather than poll it.  The matter came to light several years later and remained a sore point on the matter of trust. They’re still married several decades later, but something went out of the window permanently. Another couple with a similar context used the difference to acknowledge the other's presence - she put up her George Bush poster and he'd keep turning it to the wall - just a way a saying "hi, I'm around"! 

Aren’t bacteria bad for us? No. Within our bodies lie about 1 trillion bacteria peacefully co-existing most of the time and actually helping our bodies, the most beautiful machine every designed, work.  As long as things are in harmony, no problems about the 1 trillion.  Howard Hughes, the billionaire, died in a specially designed cabin designed to prevent bacteria / disease that he was paranoid about. I doubt he realized how much was inside him anyway. The world’s richest man dying like a nutcase, I still remember the Time Cover picture (artist’s impression) of him.

Carbon Monoxide is lethal. Well, not quite. Scientists have discovered its therapeutic properties in healing the body including pulmonary arteries if delivered in the right doses.  Smoking unfortunately ain’t the right dosage (weep, weep!). Companies are working on products that can deliver the right dosage customized for medical purposes.  

So what’s the big point here?

The fact is that nature and life is about harmony – different things co-existing in balance, even natural enemies. Nothing in nature is just about one dimension only. Chocolate can be brain food in one context and fattening in another.  

Unfortunately,  there will always be high priests who’ll take matters to an extreme view point, as that then becomes the locus of power. Without the conflict, such people have no importance in life, as they perceive it and live it. A King Rat (James Clavell) kind of phenomenon.

Seeking ways of finding the balance between extreme viewpoints  works better  than looking  for the killer blow to win your point of view. The creeps profit from the desire for the killer blow. And you aren’t any happier for it. The bacterial example illustrates how its possible for everyone to rock and roll while being potential enemies.  

It’s a question of attitude.  

Now don’t ask me how Test cricket is going to survive when matches start on Monday. Unless they start playing it in France, where they seem to shortening work weeks to the extent working days are the weekends and the rest of the time is off!  And Karan Johar movies……grrrrrrr! 

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